“All for the cause.
All for the realm.
All against the darkness.”
– Order of the Sentinels creed
The Order of the Sentinels is an ancient and secret society dedicated to protecting mortals from the supernaturally evil threats that work to escape the confines of their planes and wreak havoc on the Prime Material. These brave guardians risk their own lives and souls to ensure that nothing sinister crosses the Veil between the planes and that those creatures that make it through are tracked down and destroyed.
The Darken Veil
The Darken Veil is the wall between the Prime Material Plane and all planes and pocket planes dedicated to evil, insanity, and decay. It’s an extraordinary magical barrier said to have been built by the gods as an extra measure of protection upon the existing Planar Veil that creates the gulf between creatures of the Prime Material and the various planes around them. Crossing the Veil between planes is incredibly difficult, but piercing the Darken Veil is nearly impossible for the malevolent forces of the cosmology. However, this layer of protection can be breached by mortals attempting to reach through and contact the powerful dark beings on the other side.
Those mortals who willingly peer through the Darken Veil do so at the risk of their sanity, lives, and spirits, but the exchange of power that they may receive in exchange is too great for them to forego. Each time these individuals reach through the Darken Veil, whether just deep enough to scry or to directly call upon an extraplanar servant, they weaken the barrier and run the risk of something more powerful and dire than they could imagine slipping through.
One of the primary tenets among the Order of the Sentinels is that every great tragedy, every terrible event created by the forces of evil, can be traced to a single facilitating moment. These moments of contact to the dark planes, or Malefic Ripples as they’re called by the order, leave impressions on the Darken Veil that can be found by those trained to sense them. Sentinels spend their time investigating and tracking down the sources of these Malefic Ripples, seeking to eliminate any potentially world-altering schemes in their infancy. Budding necromancers touching the Necrotic Plane, gathering occultists tampering with dark artifacts, warlocks turning to the void, or summoners reaching out for fiendish minions, are all targets of the Order of the Sentinels’ justice.
The Order of the Sentinels welcomes people from all walks of life into their ranks, although they specifically seek out and recruit those who have been the victims of the supernatural tragedies and traumas that they seek to prevent. After months of investigation and observation, a potential recruit will be approached by a standing member of the order and invited to join their fight against the forces of darkness in any way that they can. The members of the Order of the Sentinels are bakers, farmers, warriors, midwives, scholars, and politicians, but above all else, they are enemies of what lies beyond the Darken Veil.
You will thrive in the Order of the Sentinels if:
- You do not trust extraplanar forces or those who use them.
- You would lay down your life to protect the realm.
- You are willing to provide whatever you can in service of the cause.
Divisions of the Order
The Order of the Sentinels is a society made of individuals who share a common goal and general mindset. Members are unpaid, although any wealth or treasure taken by the group is divided evenly among the chapter who found it, with the most wealthy members abstaining in favor of those less fortunate. Sentinels always provide for each other in whatever ways they can, whether it be a place to stay for the night, provisions for a mission to come, or using their political connections to facilitate an objective.
The Order of the Sentinels has four divisions spread throughout the realm who work together to keep watch on the world around them and maintain the secrecy of their order.
Although this is the simplest position in the order, it’s also considered the most important. This division is filled with locals who have few skills and hold humble positions within their communities. Sentries make up the largest numbers in the Order of the Sentinels and are the primary source of information distribution among the members. They go about their daily lives as normal, and when they spot any signs of Malefic Ripples in the area, they immediately report this to their assigned contact and continue to watch and wait.
This division is responsible for supplying the members of the Order of the Sentinels with what they need for their quests and missions for the order. They are usually made up of merchants, outfitters, and blacksmiths of varying types who are well supplied with money and resources.
This is the most dangerous division in the order. These are the warriors and field investigators who seek out the sources of Malefic Ripples that have been reported. Seekers are willing to do whatever must be done to stop those powers that would cause devastation to society, and that can often lead them down dangerous and illegal paths. Seekers must be careful of not only the dark forces they’re hunting but of the local law enforcement and officials of the areas they’re in.
Torchbearers are the leaders of the order and generally hold positions of power in their communities. Elders, politicians, and sages are all typically found in this division, and it’s their responsibility to organize and coordinate their local chapter of the Order of the Sentinels. These are the people responsible for removing bureaucratic roadblocks hindering the members of the order, assigning missions, and clearing up any legal troubles that the Seekers may cause.
The goals of the Order of the Sentinels have remained unchanged since its founding; seek out those who would pierce the Darken Veil and destroy them before they can destroy the innocent mortal lives around them, hunt down any evil creatures who have broken through, and never let the life of one individual outweigh the lives of all.
The following options are available to PCs who join the Order of the Sentinels.
Order of the Sentinels (Advanced Background)
After surviving a terrible supernatural calamity, you were sought out by a member of the Order of the Sentinels and recruited. You have completed your esoteric training with the order and can now spot evidence of intrusion on the Darken Veil.
Feature: Trace the Ripples
You can sense and locate Malefic Ripples. You may use Intelligence (Arcana) checks to track and determine the approximate time and location that something attempted to cross or communicate with any evil-aligned plane for up to 1 day after the contact or crossing was attempted.
The Sentinel’s Light
Wondrous item, Major, Uncommon
This gorgeously crafted lantern is owned by all members of the Order of the Sentinels and kept carefully hidden away unless needed. To the uninitiated, The Sentinel’s Light looks like a well-made and ornate adventurer’s lantern, but this mystical item is the most important tool in the order’s arsenal.
The Sentinel’s Light has 3 charges, and it regains all expended charges daily at sunrise. You may spend 1 charge to cast one of the below spells:
- detect evil and good
- protection from evil and good
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Featured Image: The Sentinel’s Light by Victor Benitez Morales
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